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Value Frame Fusion in Cross Sector Interactions

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Abstract

Prior research flags the inherent incompatibilities between for-profit and nonprofit partners and cautions that clashing value creation logics and conflicting identities can stall social innovation in cross sector partnerships. Process narratives of successful versus unsuccessful cross sector partnerships paint a more optimistic picture, whereby the frequency, intensity, breadth, and depth of interactions may afford frame alignment despite partners’ divergent value creation approaches. However, little is known about how cross sector partners come to recognize and reconcile their divergent value creation frames in order to co-construct social value. Using longitudinal narratives of four dyads, we show that partners initially contrast their sector-embedded diagnostic frames and then work together to deliberately develop partnership-specific prognostic frames. We extend the literature on framing by developing a four-stage grounded model of frame negotiation, elasticity, plasticity, and fusion which unpacks the relational process of value creation in cross sector partnerships. Our qualitative analyses further show how partners orchestrate multilevel coordination that helps scaffold and calibrate this relational process of frame fusion.

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Le Ber, M.J., Branzei, O. Value Frame Fusion in Cross Sector Interactions. J Bus Ethics 94 (Suppl 1), 163–195 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-011-0785-1

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